THE EUROPEAN Union Council of Ministers has agreed reforms to EU rules on pig welfare. They now ban the confinement of pregnant pigs to individual stalls and tethering of sows and gilts. The amended directive also includes rules on improving the living environment of pigs and piglets, such as a minimum size of sow pens, and requires permanent access to rooting materials and fibre food. The Council has also agreed a new directive on the control of classical swine fever, banning the feeding of catering waste to pigs from July 2002.

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